A lot of hue and cry has been made regarding the loss of importance of links with some even declaring the death of links and link building. However, links are very much involved in SEO success in current times.
In addition, the importance of social media is bound to increase and SEO professionals as well as good writers will be in far greater demand than before. The nature of link building may change in the future and a few may also continue to misuse it. However, the importance of links will not diminish or even die based on the few points mentioned below.
The foundation of the World Wide Web is links. Links boost rankings, divert traffic to help interested users, and drive traffic. However, high-quality links are ones that really important. These links may be from authority sites including social sites with a large fan following. The fact that Google’s PageRank still uses links is proof enough that links are far too important for ranking.
In addition, spiders that crawl the internet utilize links in the same way that users use them in order to navigate. Links are also used extensively to help visitors reach related websites from a site.
While bad links can still be used with relative ease, it is Google’s PageRank that separates the good from the bad by way of rankings. Google too encourages webmasters to improve their website rankings by making high-quality websites that users can use as well as share. Google’s PageRank pays a lot of importance to high-quality links and this point is specified in nearly all quotes from the company.
The fact that Google invested a lot of time, energy, and money to crack down on paid links with warnings and penalties through Webmaster Tools is also proof that Google does not foresee the death of links in the near future. On the other hand, several websites that were earlier allowing linking for free have started to demand money for those links after the Penguin 2.0 update. Web owners faced with such demands will need to decide whether it is actually profitable to pay in order to keep the link or even prevent a competitor from taking their place.
All these facts merely indicate that links are still very important for rankings. However, SEOs will need to adapt to changing times, technologies, and situations, and ensure that their skills result in higher rankings in coming times.